NY Jets will pass character test in D.C.

Sep 2, 2003 8:00 AM

Starting QB plays one quarter, along with the first team offense and defense. Then the first team plays maybe a half by the third preseason game. I guess we’ll call it a game if we have to, but I prefer the term scrimmage.

By the time the final dress rehearsal rolls around, it’s about 10 snaps and out for the first string high-rollers. Sick and tired of all the preseason talk and type? Me too.

I kind of feel like Danny boy this time of year. But instead of pipes calling me it’s the pups! Oh yeah! O Denny boy, the pups, the pups, are calling. What they’re barking about is remembering their fantastic start last year.

Anyone who wagered on the underdogs found themselves winners at a 60 percent clip through Week 8. Here’s hoping the dogs are just as feisty this year. No more scrimmages. Time to rock ”˜n roll.

Jets (+3) at Redskins: Big character test for the Jets. First it was the off-season raids which netted Washington ex-Jets Coles and Morton. If that wasn’t enough, Chad Pennington dislocates and breaks his left wrist. Jets will circle the wagons and fight to the bitter for old man Vinny. Skins will miss workhorse Stephen Davis. JETS.

Rams (+ 1) at Giants: Have to go with a healthy Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk. Both teams have explosive offenses. G-Men tad shakier on offensive line. RAMS.

Pats (+1) at Bills: Plenty of hype in Buffalo after being revived last season by Drew Bledsoe. Not sure if they spent enough time reviving defense. Pats added three pretty good vets to their defense. Can’t see any big holes. PATS.

Ravens (+5½) at Steelers: Tommy Maddox can flat out throw the ball. And he has plenty of targets to throw at in Burress, Ward and Randle El. Steelers are a better team with Zereoue. Bettis may help in a pinch but he’s hit the wall. Kyle Boller might be the man of the future for Baltimore. But the future is not now! STEELERS.

Jags (+4) at Panthers: Carolina can play D with NFL elite. Moved up to second in the league last season. Still have QB question mark, but Stephen Davis should help eliminate some of the RB question marks. Jags have to be thrilled preseason is over. Almost had to increase ticket prices to pay for heat exhaustion hospital stays. The whole team might go down Sunday. PANTHERS.

Texans (+13½) at Dolphins: Not ready to pull the SU card, but Houston should be more competitive this season. Carr will be improved even though O-line is still weak. Many people have already put Miami in the Super Bowl. The Fish win, but not sure of the cover. TEXANS

Colts (+1) at Browns: Looks like a trap. Browns haven’t shown they can stop many offenses over the last month. Colts were many experts’ choice for surprise team of the year. Maybe the oddsmakers were focused on points Holcomb put up in last year’s opener vs KC. Scoreboard lights may burn out by halftime. COLTS.

Broncos (-6) at Bengals: Only home dog on the board. Can’t pass it up! Marvin Lewis is a great coach and has taken over more control of the team than past coaches. More Lewis and less Brown means more wins and more covers! When most teams backed off hitting in the early preseason, Lewis toughened Bengals with full contact. BENGALS.

Cards (+4) at Lions: The Mooch is best Lions coach in many years. Harrington has a big arm and should be well protected. Cards may be the real Bungles, but don’t tell Cincinnati fans. LIONS.

Vikings + 6 at Packers: Daunte Culpepper has something to prove. Vikes finished with three straight wins last season and D-line should be improved. Packers can’t seem to stay away from injuries. A mediocre team in many areas. VIKINGS.

Chargers (+5) at Chiefs: KC will be showing off one of the NFL’s top offensive lines. Trent Green should put up great numbers. Priest Holmes doesn’t hurt your chances of cashing either. CHIEFS.

Falcons (+2) at Cowboys: Atlanta will try to hang on until Vick returns. May run into a crazy crowd and hyped up new Parcells team. If Quincy Carter can give Dallas a little lift and cut down on the turnovers, home side looks good. COWBOYS.

Saints (+3) at Seahawks: Holmgren finally turned over GM chores and focused on coaching. Maybe the Seahawks can make a move up division ladder. Couple of great offensive weapons in Robinson and Alexander. Matt Hasselbeck averaged over 400 yards in last six games. SEAHAWKS.

Bears (+7) at 49ers: Not sold on Kordell Stewart. Love Garcia even with the back problem. Not sold on Dennis Erickson, but does inherit defending NFC West champion. 49ERS.

Raiders (+3) at Titans: After witnessing Romo’s senseless beating to a pulp of his own teammate, not sure if Titans will show up. Romo may be looking for a few fresh orbital bones! But Titans are good and have a tough coach. Age may finally be a factor in Oakland. TITANS.

Bucs (+ 3) at Eagles: Keeping it simple here. Everyone of importance is back for the Super Bowl champs. Eagles lost two linebackers and a great kick-returner in Brian Mitchell. BUCS.

First week: 0-0

Season: 0-0.